Portland Police Officers Ordered To Remove Facebook posts With ‘I AM DARREN WILSON’ Over Their Badge
Portland police Chief Mike Reese has ordered several officers who posted images of the Police Bureau’s badge covered with the words “I AM DARREN WILSON,” on their Facebook pages to take them down on Monday.
[su_center_ad]”The image displayed does not represent this organization and was very inflammatory in nature,” Reese said in a statement Monday morning, according to Oregon Live. “Officers certainly have a right to have and express their opinions but not using an official badge of the Portland Police Bureau. The badge represents all members of the organization, past and present, and is an important symbol in our community that must not be tarnished. I’ve asked the Professional Standards Division to review this matter for possible policy violations.”
There were at least three officers who had posted the images in support of Darren Wilson on their Facebook pages, and each received quite a few ‘likes’ mostly by fellow police officers.
Activists shared them on social media, including Twitter.
Oregon Live reports:
They included Officers Rich Storm, Rob Blanck and Kris Barber. As of 12:36 p.m., Storm still had his badget post on his page, which drew ‘likes’ from 30 others, many of whom are Portland police officers.
Michael Klepfer, who describes himself as a freelance writer, sent an image of one officer’s Facebook page to The Oregonian Monday morning, with the message, “This is their outreach. We know what they think.”
The officers’ actions came on the heels of the police force assigning a commander to reach out to community groups to ensure peaceful demonstrations after the highly anticipated grand jury ruling of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, is announced.
Mayor Charlie Hales issued a statement which read in part, “We learned this morning that three officers altered images of the official Portland Police Bureau badge. Chief Reese did the right thing by immediately ordering the officers to remove these symbols, and by ordering Professional Standards Division to review this matter for possible policy violations.”
“We have been actively participating in collaborative dialogue with community leaders and other Portlanders on issues of police and community relations,” the statement continued. “Recently, police participated in specific dialog related to possible reactions to the upcoming release of a verdict from the grand jury in Ferguson, Mo.”
“The actions taken by these three officers here in Portland do not help get us to that goal.”
Officer Rich Storm, one of the aforementioned officers who took part in the Facebook posts, was one of the officers identified by the U.S. Department of Justice in its 2012 investigation, which the agency said showed the bureau’s pattern of excessive or inappropriate force.[su_csky_ad]